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Walking the Americas: 1,800 Miles, Eight…
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Walking the Americas: 1,800 Miles, Eight Countries, and One Incredible… (edição: 2018)

de Levison Wood (Autor), Barnaby Edwards (Narrador)

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6711312,850 (4.03)Nenhum(a)
Starting in the Yucatán, Wood sets out on an epic walking voyage, moving through Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama, travelling in the opposite direction along vital migrant routes. Journeying from sleepy barrios to glamourous cities to Mayan ruins lying unexcavated in the wilderness, Wood forges new relationships along the way that stand at the heart of this book--and the personal histories, cultures, and popular legends he discovers paint a riveting history of Mexico and Central America. While contending with the region's natural obstacles, he partakes in family meals with local hosts, learns to build an emergency shelter, and witnesses the surreal beauty of the landscapes. Finally, Wood attempts to cross one of the world's most impenetrable borders: The Darién Gap from Panama into south America, a notorious smuggling passage and the wildest jungle he has ever navigated.… (mais)
Membro:Ltwente
Título:Walking the Americas: 1,800 Miles, Eight Countries, and One Incredible Journey from Mexico to Colombia
Autores:Levison Wood (Autor)
Outros autores:Barnaby Edwards (Narrador)
Informação:Tantor Audio (2018), Edition: Unabridged
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:****
Etiquetas:memoir-and-travel, non-fiction, 2018

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Walking the Americas: 1,800 Miles, Eight Countries, and One Incredible Journey from Mexico to Colombia de Levison Wood

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On an atlas, the small chain of countries that link the great continents of North and South America look tiny. It is a beautiful and varied part of our planet, but their size on the map belies just how tough a part of the world it is. Not only is it hot and humid, but you will have to contend with swamps, malaria, spiders and jaguars and the jungle and the remnants of ancient cities. Not forgetting the armed gangs of drug smugglers and military types with itchy trigger fingers, this is not the place for your tourists. Thankfully Levison Wood is not your regular tourist.

His chosen 1,800-mile route along this slender piece of land would take in eight countries. He was starting with Mexico, where he had persuaded his friend Alberto to come along for the trip. He readily agreed, remembering the time he spent in Africa with him travelling by truck; then Levison dropped the bombshell, saying that they would be walking it… Alberto still agreed to go with him every step of the way.

Levison Wood is one of the few adventurers left in the world who is capable and mad enough to undertake these sorts of long treks across parts of the world that people would not normally venture to. At times it is an unbelievably tough journey, as they deal with hacking their way through the understory, encountering migrants heading for a new life in America and the relentless task of putting one foot in front of the other. He is one tough guy to even attempt a challenge of this order, let alone complete it. Alberto and Wood have even joined the exclusive club of those that have managed to pass the impenetrable jungle at the Darien Gap. This is such a wild area that even the Pan-American highway stops in its two continent run. It is a reasonably well-written account of his trip, if you are expecting literary excellence then this is not necessarily going to be the author for you. What you do get though is an honest account of a unique hike with all the highs and lows from a genuine tough guy.

Great stuff. Now to watch the TV series. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
‘’Mayan sacrifice bowl,’ he said in a crackled voice through the intercom radio. He then beckoned me to follow him. Kicking our fins, we swam through the crystal water ever deeper into the depths, following the course of the sandbank. Then I saw a huge horn poking out of the sand. On closer inspection, it seemed to be attached to a skull: it looked like a cow or a buffalo. ‘Sacrifice,’ came the crackly answer from our guide.
Further still and we came to something even more remarkable - and disturbing. There, on a rocky ledge, was another skull. But this time there were no horns. It was clearly that of a human being. Nearby, scattered around the bottom were the rest of the remains - thigh bones, ribs, spinal vertebrae, a pelvis.’’

‘’’The really poor people,’ Alberto explained, ‘get buried in a communal plot for two years. After that, the grave is dug up on the Day of the Dead and the bones are taken out.’ He looked sinister in the half-light of the cemetery, a solitary streetlight flickered across the graves. ‘Then,’ he carried on, ‘they are put in boxes, skulls and everything, and they’re here.’ He pointed to the inside wall, where I could see what looked like small pigeonholes less than a foot wide. Each of the dark crevices contained a rusty old metal box. We got closer. Some of the compartments had bars blocking entry to what lay within. Others were open. Many of them were filled with candles and offerings. The dead are venerated here in Mexico, and nowhere more so than by the descendants of the Mayans here in the Yucatan. I opened a creaky box and there inside, looking up, was the skull of a man, on a pile of bones. I closed it quickly.
‘Let’s leave,’ I said to Alberto, ‘We’ve seen enough death for one day.’

Many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton and Edelweiss for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  AmaliaGavea | Jul 12, 2019 |
Levison Wood didn't actually walk from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, as may be suggested by the first part of the title. But he did walk across the Yucatan Peninsula into Guatemala, and through the rest of Central America (including the Darién Gap) into Colombia. This is his story of that walk, including jumping into cenotes, meeting narco-traffickers, diving into the pre-colonial history of the area, meeting migrants trying to get to the US, and adventuring through nearly impassable jungles. An enjoyable read. ( )
  ckadams5 | Jun 19, 2019 |
Levison Wood didn't actually walk from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, as may be suggested by the first part of the title. But he did walk across the Yucatan Peninsula into Guatemala, and through the rest of Central America (including the Darién Gap) into Colombia. This is his story of that walk, including jumping into cenotes, meeting narco-traffickers, diving into the pre-colonial history of the area, meeting migrants trying to get to the US, and adventuring through nearly impassable jungles. An enjoyable read. ( )
  ckadams5 | Jun 19, 2019 |
Don't get your hopes up--the author no more walked from Point Barrow to Patagonia than you or I did; he explains this, a tad lamely, by protesting that his other books are titled with verb phrases which end with a one-word geographic locale and that "Walking Central America" would destroy that admittedly poetic symmetry. Anyway, what he did do is impressive enough, if only because in the course of his walk from the Yucatan to Colombia he crossed the forbidding Darien Gap; I've never read a traveller's account which didn't bypass its perils by boat.

This is a very successful book, though it's not particularly easy to see, let alone explain, why. Until they get to to the point in the Darien where the Pan-American Highway deadends at a wall, there is only occasional danger, and what there is the author underplays with minimal drama. He has, or at least exhibits, little personality or introspection, the people he encounters are occasionally surly but almost never threatening, and for the most part he gets along with his Mexican travelling companion as well as could be expected during such an lengthy, arduous time together. But the book nonetheless manages to be fascinating; I was especially surprised by the abrupt changes in national personality as soon as they crossed a border, since to outsiders Central American countries tend to run together. And his enlistment of the aid of an extremely recalcitrant combination of Panamanian military bureaucracy and local indigines to achieve his dream of walking the Darien is one of the great page-turners, as is, of course, the trek itself. All in all the book is a pleasure to recommend. ( )
  Big_Bang_Gorilla | Jul 21, 2018 |
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Starting in the Yucatán, Wood sets out on an epic walking voyage, moving through Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama, travelling in the opposite direction along vital migrant routes. Journeying from sleepy barrios to glamourous cities to Mayan ruins lying unexcavated in the wilderness, Wood forges new relationships along the way that stand at the heart of this book--and the personal histories, cultures, and popular legends he discovers paint a riveting history of Mexico and Central America. While contending with the region's natural obstacles, he partakes in family meals with local hosts, learns to build an emergency shelter, and witnesses the surreal beauty of the landscapes. Finally, Wood attempts to cross one of the world's most impenetrable borders: The Darién Gap from Panama into south America, a notorious smuggling passage and the wildest jungle he has ever navigated.

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